It has been almost a month since my last blog post, I honestly thought it was close to two weeks. A lot has happened in the last month and I have severe dissociative episodes. A lot of people have been telling me they don’t notice anything when I am dissociating, part of that has to do with the fact that I have used this coping skill since I was little. I go on auto pilot and go to work and meet with friends and do all my normal things. So here it is, dissociation part 2.
I can feel outside my body whilst I work (like I’m watching myself (derealisation/depersonalisation)), feel like there is a glass wall between people and me when I’m in a group. After meeting a friend it can feel like it was last week, rather than I just came home after seeing her. These are symptoms I can control better now by using grounding tools and reminding myself what time, day and year it is. When these things happen at work I am usually able to remind myself now, that in fact I am working and I am surrounded by good people and that I am safe. Pencils often need to be sharpened because we do a lot of colouring, I sharpen them to stay present.
The most frightening parts are the dissociative episodes I don’t remember. This could go from two weeks passing and not knowing what I have done in the meantime. To having mini episodes throughout a day, did I brush my teeth? Did I eat? What was I doing? Where was I going? Did I go to work? All of them are very confusing and scary because it seems like I blacked out and I have no clue of what I have done. This also interferes with my day to day tasks, it’s not easy to have a simple planner or to do list because most of the time I don’t remember whether I have done a task or not. If I haven’t crossed it, did I do it? If I have crossed it, am I sure I did it? Did I cook dinner? Well the dishes seem to be just done, so I think I did. It’s not as simple as seeing that things need to be done, I see it once I’m present again. Dissociation combined with derealisation/depersonalisation, makes for a very busy person detached from what is really happening.
I tried to explain this to my “mentor” a few times, because I have to call him if I need extra help. In this state, I never know when I need help until it’s too late or until I fade back to reality and able to do it myself again. I talked to my therapist about this and she is going to meet him again to talk about this and to have him come over more than once a week. I really hope it’s possible, or we need to look for something else.
Before I started recovery, I had a lot of toxic people around me who wanted to think I was just lazy, stupid or inadequate. They also liked to keep me that way because I was in the perfect state to be taken advantage of. I’ve had people doing this since I was little, because I developed this coping skill as a child. I used to think it started around the age of 10, but I now think it was already present way before that time. I don’t remember a whole lot from my childhood before the age of 10. My therapist explained it as a coping mechanism when I can’t process emotions (or like growing up, I wasn’t allowed to have them), I detach from myself in order to deal (or not, which is what it sounds like) with them. It is likely more severe now, since we are getting closer to the root of the trauma. The EMDR-therapist I saw this month, noticed I start to talk like a child the more emotional I became. She mentioned a dissociative splitting between my child-self and adult-self. I seem to have a hard time taking care of my child-self, because I detach from my adult-self. This was very disturbing for me and brought a lot of fear for DID or other dissociative disorders. I hope either gets figured out soon, I want to learn healthy coping skills.
I’m exhausted from it all and slipped back in to a depressive episode. Trying my best to do things that help me, so I don’t slip any further. I isolated myself for the past 3 days by staying home (which obviously doesn’t help me). I am just very sad right now, because I had to go through this all by myself, all my life. I feel very blessed I meet the right people right now. To have made real friends who don’t let me go through this by myself ever again. Who help me through episodes of sheer fear and hopelessness. Who are here. Who remind me I am not doing this alone anymore. I am blessed to have finally met the right therapists who look further than my anxiety and depressions.
I start EMDR on the 5th of June, right now I don’t know whether to be afraid or relieved. I wanted to do EMDR but because of the dissociative episodes I’m scared. I hope to be able to update you on it, in the same week. For now I am going to repeat to myself I am not alone anymore.Love & Light, Sandra